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gave himself to its duties with the most unreserved devotedness; throwing his whole soul into the work ;—"which he ever believed to be," as he assured the Committee in a letter dictated from his dying bed, “ a work of God in our day."
His attachment to the constitution of the Society was not less marked than his unremitting efforts to promote its great and important object. So fully was he imbued with the conviction that its prosperity depends, under God, upon strict adherence to its original principles, that nothing could induce him to swerve from those principles, even in the slightest degree; and against any and every attempt on the part of others to touch or alter them he at all times stood firm ; personal considerations weighing little with him, when he considered the integrity and well-being of the Society to be at stake.
It may be truly said of him that he was " in labours most abundant;" year after year, an increase of those labours was rendered necessary by the constantly enlarging operations of the Society. From his first entrance into office, he charged himself with a large part of the extensive correspondence of the Society, both Domestic and Foreign; and, in many other ways, watched over its multifarious concerns; besides which, he devoted no inconsiderable portion of his time to travelling throughout the kingdom, for the purpose of attending the anniversary meetings of the Auxiliaries and Associations. These, in connection with his other duties, domestic and pastoral, persevered in from year to year, exacted from him an amount of effort which few could have sustained so long, and under which even his robust and vigorous frame at length gave way. The result was, that, when it pleased God that the hand of disease should be laid upon him, all the springs of life seemed to have been broken at once; he quickly sank into a state of entire prostration, and from the couch of utter feebleness rose only " to depart and be with Christ" for ever.
During his illness his mind was calm; he meekly yielded to the will of his Heavenly Father, often whispering, in the silent hours of the night, “ Thy will be done.” On the morning of his departure he was heard feebly to exclaim, “My Saviour, my Saviour," and, soon after, he entered into rest.
Of their beloved friend the Commiteee will only further say, that he combined qualities but rarely found in the same individual—strength of body and of mind; talent and learning; solidity of judgment; singleness of purpose ; integrity of conduct; together with an independence of spirit always kept under the control of Christian principle. To these endowments were added, a tone of feeling at once generous and tender, and a heart under the habitual influence of that “Charity, which is the bond of perfectness."
Though firmly attached to the Church of England, both in its doctrine and government; yet, in a truly catholic spirit, he could cordially co-operate with his fellow-Christians connected with other departments of the Universal Church. Not having respect to his own ease, nor shunning reproach for Christ's sake, he laboured, and toiled, and watched, and prayed ; in all things commending himself to the approval, not of men but of God.
While the Committee express their sincerest regrets on the loss of so endeared an associate-regrets that will be fully shared not only by his family, but by the whole body of his parishioners, and even by the Church of Christ at large-they are constrained to acknowledge the goodness of God in having permitted them so long to enjoy his faithful services; and they would, at the same time, offer up an earnest prayer, that He who is Head over all things to His Church may deign (now, as formerly) to raise up and point out to them a suitable instrument for carrying forward a work, so deeply connected with the glory of God and with the highest good of mankind.
MEMOIR OF THE REV. DR. STEINKOPFF. DR. STEINKOPFF, for many years the efficient Foreign Secretary of the Bible Society, is minister of the German Lutheran Church, in the Savoy, Westminster. He is still living; and for more than half a century, he has been a faithful preacher of the
gospel of Christ in the metropolis. On account of his amiable spirit, and zeal for the evangelization of mankind, he has been greatly beloved by all denominations of Christians in England. He has cordially united with them in their Missionary operations ; and he was, therefore, prepared to take a share in the labours of the British and Foreign Bible Society.
Dr. Steinkopff is a German: he was born at Stuttgart, in Wurtemberg, September 6, 1773. He studied for the Christian ministry at the University of Tubingen ; and came to settle in London in the year 1801. Divine Providence having spared his life and preserved his health, he was privileged to celebrate the “ Jubilee” of his ministry in London, November 30, 1851. Dr. Steinkopff possessed the spirit of his Lord and Saviour, in a large degree; and, therefore, he took a lively interest in the Religious Tract Society, and in the early conferences respecting the need of a Bible Society. He instituted, at the request of the Committee, various inquiries on the Continent as to the need of the Scriptures. He was present at the first meetings; and he gladly accepted the invitation to become the first Foreign Secretary of the Bible Society at its formation. His services in council and correspondence, in his journeys on the continent, and in various other ways, were very highly important; but health declining, he felt obliged to resign his office. Having written to this effect, to the Committee of the Bible Society, December 2, 1826, on the 18th they adopted the following minute :
The Committee cannot but express their deep concern at the necessity which deprives the Society of the invaluable services of their Foreign Secretary.
Of the magnitude, extent, and beneficial effects of the services of Dr. Steinkopff, both at home and abroad, during a period of more than twenty-two years, an adequate opinion can be formed by those only who were witnesses of them, or have the means of access to the records of the Society, in which they occupy so large a space. Of the zeal, the cheerfulness, and the patient assiduity with which they were performed, the members of every successive Committee of the Society can bear the most ample testimony. Nor is it to be forgotten, that for eighteen years, those services, which during a considerable portion of that period occupied nearly his whole time and attention, were gratuitously performed; and that the salary, which was afterwards annexed to his office, was wholly unsolicited and reluctantly accepted. Never were services rendered by any public functionary more disinterested than those of Dr. Steinkopff. His colleagues and the Committee will long cherish the remembrance of the truly Christian spirit that ever tempered the ardent zeal which animated his exertions, and endeared him to their affections.
Dr. Steinkopff's health was happily restored ; so that he has been enabled, through a quarter of a century more, to undertake repeated journeys in various countries on the continent, promoting the objects of the Society, and also to render essential service to its Auxiliaries, and in editing several versions of the Scriptures. It would be impossible worthily to represent his important labours for the Bible Society. On the memorable 7th of March, 1853, he was able to attend the Jubilee Meeting of the Society. Except William Alers Hankey, Esq., whose state of health did not allow him to be present, Dr. Steinkopff was the only surviving originator of the Bible Society; and his address to the assembly
was a most affecting review of the history of the Institution, paying a just tribute of respect to the memory of his principal colleagues in office, especially the Noble Presidents, Lord Teignmouth and Lord Bexley, and his beloved co-secretaries, the Rev. John Owen, the Rev. Joseph Hughes, and the Rev. Andrew Brandram.
Though unable now to render the services of former years, and while anticipating his eternal gain through Jesus Christ, Dr. Steinkopff prays for and rejoices in the continued and increasing prosperity of the British and Foreign Bible Society.